John Muir


John Muir


[Theodore Roosevelt]


Martinez, April 21, 1908.

[in margin: [Acnd?] 4-21-08]

Dear Mr. President:

I hate to augment the monstrous load of national cares you are carrying, even to the extent of reading another short letter on the Hetch Hetchy question lately reopened by Secretary Garfield.
None of the proponents of the destructive Hetch Hetchy scheme seems to me anything like what you Mr President call a decent American citizen, able to represent fairly either San Francisco or the United States.
Damming Lake Eleanor would do but little to harm the park. It would make a magnificent reservoir, & with the many other available basins on Cherry Creek, the large Tuolumne tributary
to the north of the Park boundary would according to my best information & belief supply San Francisco & the Bay Cities for a century or so with abundance of water even purer than that of Hetch Hetchy, which drains the great camp-grounds of the Park.
The special pleaders for the Hetch Hetchy scheme now in Washington seem to me not a whit better than the graft lawyers of San Francisco. They are said to belong to Mr Phelan, who with a few other capitalists has long been engaged in miserable dollarish squabbles with the Spring Valley Water Company.
Devoutly praying our glorious Yosemite park may be preserved for the highest good of all America & the world, I am, dear President,

faithfully yours,

John Muir


Martinez [Calif.]

Date Original

1908 Apr 21


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 17, Image 0435

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust


2 pages



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